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v351 Voices From the Past

Voices From the Past

The following are things I desperately want you to hear and understand so I will not say them. It is understood by our Lord that people reject the Truth when it comes from those with whom we are familiar. “But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” Mark 6:4.

For so many, the stuff that is being doled out weekly through the religious system is at best corrupted and diluted truth, and in most cases the teachings of mere men for hidden  motives.

The following is from two readings I enjoyed this morning. I was asking the Father if I should share the first when he confirmed it by the second. “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. Matt 8:16.

The first is from Voices from the Past (appropriately titled) and the second from Oswald Chambers. Taken together this is a very long read for most. “But the Kingdom of God advances violently and the violent take it…”

The new man takes a new course. His conversation is in heaven. No sooner does Christ call one by effectual grace, but he immediately becomes a follower of Christ. When God has given him a new heart, he henceforth walks in his statutes. Though sin may dwell in him truly a wearisome and unwelcome guest, it has no more dominion over him. He is not one man at church and another at home. He is not a saint on his knees and a cheat in his shop. He turns from all his sins and keeps all of God’s statutes, though not perfectly, yet sincerely, not allowing himself the breach of any. Now he delights in the Word, and sets himself to prayer. He has a good conscience willing in all things to live honestly without offense towards God and men (Hebrews 13:18). Here you find the unsoundness of many that take themselves for good Christians. They take up the cheap and easy duties of religion, but are not thorough with the work. They’re like a cake half-baked. You may find them exact in their words, punctual in their dealings, but they do not exercise themselves onto godliness; as for governing their hearts, they are strangers. You see them duly at church; but follow them to their families, and you see little but the worldly minded. Follow them to their closets and you’ll find their souls little looked after. They seem religious, but do not bridle their tongues (James 1:26). They may come to the closet and family prayer; but follow them to their shops, and you will find them in the habit of lying, or some fashionable deceit. The hypocrite is not thorough in obedience. The new man bears fruit unto holiness, and though he makes many a blot, yet the law and life of Jesus is what he looks for as his pattern. He respects all of God’s commandments. He is sensitive in his conscience even to the little sins and little duties.

— Joseph Alleine from Voices From the Past


His Cross and Our Discipleship

There is a difference between revelation and experience. As Christians we must have an experience, but we must believe a great deal more than we can experience. For instance, no Christian can experience the Cross of Christ; but he can experience salvation through the Cross. No Christian can experience God becoming Incarnate; but he can experience the incoming of the life of God by regeneration. No Christian can experience the personal advent of the Holy Ghost on to this earth; but he can experience the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. A New Testament Christian is one who bases all his thinking on these revelations. He experiences the regenerating power of God, and then goes on to build up his mind in the most holy faith. Until a man is born again, he cannot think as a Christian. Belief of doctrine does not make a man a Christian. There are those who emphasise doctrine, they would go to martyrdom for the faith; whilst others emphasise experience, and take everything revealed in the Bible as picturing our experience. Either of these views is likely to become a dangerous side track.

Jesus Christ took thirty-three years over the historic completion of Redemption in order to exhibit what God’s normal Man was like. He lived the pattern normal life of a man as God wants it to be lived, and He demands of us that we live as He did. But how are we to begin to do it? We did not come into this world as God Incarnate came. He came from pre-existing Deity; we are born with the heredity of sin. How are we to enter into the life He lived? By His Cross and by no other way. We do not enter into the life of God by imitation, or by vows, or by ceremonies, or by Church membership; we enter into it by its entering into us at regeneration. The Cross of Jesus Christ is the gateway into His life.

The Cross is not the cross of a man but the Cross of God, and the Cross of God can never be realised in human experience. Beware of saying that Jesus Christ was a martyr. Nowadays He is frequently looked upon as a martyr, His life is acknowledged to be very beautiful, but the Atonement and the Cross are not being given their rightful place, and the Bible is being robbed of its magnitude and virility. The death of our Lord was not the death of a martyr, but the exhibition of the heart of God, and the gateway whereby any member of the human race can enter into union with God. The Cross is the centre of Time and of Eternity, the answer to the enigmas of both.

The Collision of God and Sin
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. (Acts 2:36)

The Cross of Jesus is the revelation of God’s judgment on sin. It is not the cross of a martyr; it is the substitution of Jesus for sinful humanity. The Cross did not happen to Jesus, He came on purpose for it. The whole purpose of the Incarnation is the Cross—“the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” The Cross is beyond Time; the actual crucifixion is the historical revelation of the heart nature of the Trinity of God. The symbolic figure of the nature of God is not a circle, complete and self-centred; God is not all. The symbol of God’s nature is the Cross, whose arms stretch out to limitless reaches.

The Cross of Jesus Christ is a revelation; our cross is an experience. If we neglect for one moment the basal revelation of the Cross, we will make shipwreck of our faith, no matter what our experience is. The test of our spiritual life is our understanding of the Cross. The Cross of Jesus is often wrongly taken as a type of the cross we have to carry. Jesus did not say, “If any man will come after Me, let him take up My cross,” but, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”†† Our cross becomes our divinely appointed privilege by means of His Cross. We are never called upon to carry His Cross. We have so hallowed the Cross by twenty centuries of emotion and sentiment that it sounds a very beautiful and pathetic thing to talk about carrying our cross. But a wooden cross with iron nails in it is a clumsy thing to carry. The real cross was like that, and do we imagine that the external cross was more ugly than our actual one? Or that the thing that tore our Lord’s hands and feet was not really so terrible as our imagination of it?

Do we agree with God’s judgment upon sin in the Cross? There is a difference between sin and sins. Sin is a heredity; sins are acts for which we are responsible. Sin is a thing we are born with and we cannot touch it. God touches sin in Redemption, and the Cross reveals the clash of God and sin. If we do not put to death the things in us that are not of God, they will put to death the things that are of God. There is never any alternative, some thing must die in us—either sin or the life of God. If we agree theologically with God’s condemnation of sin on the Cross, then what about sin in our own heart? Do we agree with God’s verdict on sin and lust in our lives? The moment we do agree, we may be delivered from it. It is a question of agreeing with God’s verdict on sin and of will. Will we go through the condemnation now? If we will, there is no more condemnation for us, and the salvation of Jesus Christ is made actual in our lives. Unless our salvation works out through our finger tips and everywhere else, there is nothing to it, it is religious humbug.

The Sacrifice to Christ of Myself
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1-2; see also Matthew 16:24; Luke 9:23)

“Present your bodies a living sacrifice.” We cannot present an unholy thing at the altar, and Paul’s word “brethren” means saints. It is only from the standpoint of sanctification that these verses apply. Our Lord says to those who have entered into His life by means of His Cross, “Let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”†† Not, “Let him give up sin”; any man will give up sinning if he knows how to, but, “Let him deny himself,” that is, “give up his right to himself to Me.” Our cross is what we hold before the world, viz., the fact that we are sanctified to do nothing but God’s will. We have given away our right to ourselves for ever, and the cross we take up is a sign in heaven, on earth and to hell, that we are His and our own no longer. The right to ourselves is the only thing we have to give to God. We cannot give our natural possessions, because they have been given to us. If we had not our right to ourselves by God’s creation of us, we should have nothing to give, and consequently could not be held responsible.

Jesus Christ is not dealing with sin here (sin is dealt with by His Cross), but with what has been referred to as the natural life, the life symbolised by Mary, the mother of Jesus, which must be sacrificed, not annihilated. The idea of sacrifice is giving back to God the best we have in order that He may make it His and ours for ever. Have we done it? Have we as saints given up our right to ourselves to Him? or do we while accepting His salvation thoroughly object to giving up our right to ourselves to Him? Sanctification has to do with separating a holy life to God’s uses. “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth” (John 17:19).

We are apt to imagine that the cross we have to carry means the ordinary troubles and trials of life, but we must have these whether we are Christians or not. Neither is our cross suffering for conscience’ sake. Our cross is something that comes only with the peculiar relationship of a disciple to Jesus Christ; it is the evidence that we have denied our right to ourselves. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). It is not only that we give up our right to ourselves to Jesus Christ but that determinedly we relate ourselves to life so that we may be appealed to only by the things that appeal to Him, and do in the world only the things with which He is associated. There are myriads of right things in this world that our Lord would not touch, relationships which He described by the “eye,” and the “right arm.” Our right arm is not a bad thing, it is one of the best things we have, but Jesus said, “If it offends you in your walk with Me, cut it off.”† Most of us balk this; we do not object to being delivered from sin, but we do not intend to give up the right to ourselves to Him. The only right a Christian has is the right to give up his rights. Unless we are willing to give up good things for Jesus Christ, we have no realisation of Whom He is. “But really I cannot give up things that are quite legitimate!” Then never mention the word love again in connection with Jesus Christ if you cannot give up the best you have for Him. This is the essential nature of love in the natural life, otherwise it is a farce to call it love, it is not love, but lust; and when we come to our relationship with Jesus Christ, this is the love He demands of us. If we have entered into the experience of regeneration through His Cross, these are the conditions of discipleship (Luke 14:26-27 and 33). Always notice the “If” in connection with discipleship, there is never any compulsion. “If any man come to Me, and hate not . . . , he cannot be My disciple.” He may be anything else, a very fascinating person, a most delightful asset to modern civilisation, but Jesus Christ says, “he cannot be My disciple.” A man may be saved without being a disciple, and it is the point of discipleship that is always kicked against. Our Lord is not talking of eternal salvation, but of the possibility of our being of temporal worth to Himself. How many of us are of any worth to Jesus Christ? Our attitude is rather that we are much obliged to God for saving us, but the idea of giving up our chances to realise ourselves in life is too extravagantly extreme. Some of us will take all God has to give us while we take good care not to give Him anything back.

The sacrifice of myself to Christ is not a revelation, but an experience. Have I sacrificed myself to Him, or have I refused to give up my right to myself to Him because there are several things I want to do? “There are so many other interests in my life, and, of course, God will not expect it of me.” Always state things to yourself in order to realise whether you ruggedly are what you sentimentally think you ought to be, and you will soon know the kind of humbug you are. Spiritual reality is what is wanted. “I surrender all”—and you feel as if you did, that is the awkward thing. The point is whether, as God engineers your circumstances, you find that you really have surrendered. Immediately you do surrender, you are made so much one with your Lord that the thought of what it cost never enters any more.

The Contradiction of God and Satan
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me. This He said, signifying what death He should die. (John 12:31-33)

The prince of this world and Satan are synonymous terms. Satan is the manifestation of the devil for which man is held responsible, that is, Satan is the result of a communication between man and the devil (Genesis 3). Our Lord did not say to Peter, “Get thee behind Me, ‘devil,’ but, ‘Satan’”; and then He defined Satan—“thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.”† What was it that Peter savoured? Self-pity; “Pity Thyself, Lord: this shall not be to Thee,” and Jesus “turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind Me, Satan: thou art an offence unto Me.”† Peter’s appeal was made on the ground of self-interest, and the prince of this world governs everything on that basis. Self-realisation is the essential principle of his government. “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” The world is that system of things which organises its life without any thought of Jesus Christ. Paul says that the lost are those whose minds are blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). Nothing blinds the mind to the claims of Jesus Christ more effectually than a good, clean-living, upright life based on self-realisation. For a thing to be Satanic does not mean that it is abominable and immoral. The satanically managed man is moral, upright, proud, and individual; he is absolutely self-governed and has no need of God. The prince of this world is judged for ever at the Cross. If we enter into the Kingdom of God through the Cross of Christ, self-realisation cannot get through with us, it must be left outside. The Cross of Christ reveals the contradiction of God and Satan. The disposition of self-realisation is the manifestation in us of the devil as Satan, and when we come to the Cross we leave Satan outside, Satan cannot take one step inside the Cross.

The Suffering for Christ of Myself
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the church. (Colossians 1:24; see also 2 Corinthians 1:5; Philippians 3:10)

That is suffering without any notice from the world, saving its ridicule. It is not suffering like Christ, it is suffering for Christ. It is not suffering for the sake of Redemption; we have nothing to do with Redemption; that is completed. We have to fill up “that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ for His body’s sake, which is the church.” When by the Cross of Christ we have entered into the experience of identification with our Lord, then there comes the practical working out of Matthew 11:29, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” When we learn of Jesus we shall not “grouse” at a dispensation of God’s providence that we cannot understand; we shall not give way to self-pity and say, “Why should this happen to me?” Jesus said—“Let him . . . take up his cross, and follow Me.”†† This means putting into exercise 1 Corinthians 13 and deliberately identifying ourselves with God’s interests in others, and it involves a moral decision on our part. God will bring across our path people who embody the characteristics that we have shown to Him—stubbornness, pride, conceit, opinionativeness, sensuality, a hundred little meannesses. “Now,” He says, “love them as I have loved you.” It works in this way, we see that someone is going to get the better of us, and every logical power in us says—“Resent it.” Morally speaking, we should, but Jesus Christ says, “When you are insulted, not only do not resent it, but exhibit the Son of God.” The disciple realises that his Lord’s honour is at stake in his life, not his own honour. A coward does not hit back because he is afraid to; a strong man refuses to hit back because he is strong; but in appearance they are both the same, and that is where the intense humiliation of being a Christian comes in. The Lord is asking us to go the second mile with Him, and if we take the blow, we will save Him. We can always avoid letting Jesus Christ get the blow by taking it ourselves. Be absolutely abandoned to God; it is only your own reputation that is at stake. People will not discredit God; they will only think you are a fool.

After the Resurrection, Jesus Christ did not invite the disciples to a time of communion on the Mount of Transfiguration,†† He said—“Feed My sheep.” When God gives a man work to do, it is seldom work that seems at all proportionate to his natural ability. Paul, lion-hearted genius though he was, spent his time teaching the most ignorant people. The evidence that we are in love with God is that we identify ourselves with His interests in others, and other people are the exact expression of what we ourselves are; that is the humiliating thing! Jesus Christ came down to a most miserably insignificant people in order to redeem them. When He has lifted us into relationship with Himself, He expects us to identify ourselves with His interests in others.

The Centre of God and Salvation
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. (Corinthians 5:14)
We cannot be saved by consecration, or by praying, or by giving ourselves up to God. We can only be saved by the Cross of Jesus Christ. Salvation is an absolutely free, unmerited gift of God. We would a hundred times rather that God told us to do something than we would accept His salvation as a gift. The centre of salvation is the Cross of Jesus Christ, and why it is so easy to obtain salvation is because it cost God so much; and why it is so difficult to experience salvation is because human conceit will not accept, nor believe, nor have anything to do with unmerited salvation. We have not to experience God saving the world; it is a revelation that God has saved the world through Christ, and we can enter into the experience of His salvation through the Cross. The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash, and the way to life is opened, but the crash is on the heart of God. God is always the sufferer.

The Sacrament of God in Myself
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24; see also 1 Corinthians 15:30)
“Neither count I my life dear unto myself.” Paul was absolutely indifferent to any other consideration than that of fulfilling the ministry he had received. He could never be appealed to by those who urged him to remain in a certain place because he was being of so much use there. Watch our Lord also. He went through villages and cities where He was marvellously used, but the great characteristic of His earthly life was that He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem; He never stayed in a place because He had been of use there (Mark 1:37-38). Beware of the sweet sisters and beloved brothers who say to you, “Now do consider whether you will not be of more use here than anywhere else.” Probably you will, and in the passing of the months you will become mouldy bread instead of eating bread. We have nothing to do with God’s purpose, but only with the sacrament of God in us, that is, the real Presence of God coming through the common elements of our lives (John 7:37-39). The measure of our service for God is not our usefulness to others. We have nothing to do with the estimate of others, nor with success in service; we have to see that we fulfil our ministry. “As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:18). Our Lord’s first obedience was not to the needs of men, not to the consideration of where He was most useful, but to the will of His Father,††† and the first need of our life is not to be useful to God, but to do God’s will. How are we to know the will of God? By living in Romans 12:1-2. By being renewed in the spirit of the mind and refusing to be conformed to this age, we shall make out “the will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect” (rv mg).

In the beginning was the Word – the Revelation of God, Who He is, His Will, His Truth – expression of Perfection, Light, Spirit, the Glory of God, manifestation of His Presence and Essence – Perfect Love.

And the Word was with God – It was not anywhere that He was not, It came from Him and filled the heavens and the earth and all that Was and Is and Will Be – and the Word was God – the Manifestation and Revelation permeates and consumes ALL within His Glory – no thing is unaffected, immune nor with excuse. The knowledge of God is made manifest, being revealed by ALL things.

And take… the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Eph. 6:17b

If you have run in Christian circles any time at all you already know that the Sword we have available to us is the Word of God. I say available because that is what it is – available. Believe it or not, many do not wield this most useful and necessary weapon. They leave their sword lying around gathering dust, getting rusted, dull of edge and pointless if you get my point. There are many who could not divide a stick of soft butter much less divide between joint and marrow, soul and spirit. Their sword is hanging over the mantle to show and impress, not for touching, not for battle.

This is just for fun and has no truth to it but just imagine if there was a test to find out whether you have a passing grade to get into heaven. Further imagine that this test consisted of 100 good, useful, but lesser known Bible verses (the second hundred most popular bible verses) of which you were given the first few words as a lead in. It was your test to see how many you could complete. Finally imagine that the number correct was the percentage of how much of you could be saved, that you must decide which parts of your body you could not take with you. What would you leave behind if a finger, eye, ear, or other small part was only worth 1 percent and it took a whole leg for 5 percent and the organs were only 1 percenters too. What would you look like in heaven if your grade was 21 percent?

Well, this is just a fun little exercise but the truth is that Christ is the Word become flesh. We are to be complete (i.e. 100 percent) in Christ for God,  "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:" 2 Peter 1:3 And how exactly has God given us all things that pertain to life and godliness? The answer follows, "through the knowledge of him that hath called us". And where is the greatest and most readily available knowledge of him to be found if not His Word, your Sword.

No, the Sword must be picked up to be of any use. The admonishment of Paul is to take the Sword. Go ahead pick it up, carry it everywhere. Now the better question is why would anyone ever put it down? If you want to get an idea of the type of heart that God enjoys and relishes in, a place he can set up shop and abide, read Psalm 119. This guy (David) has it bad. He LOVES the Word, he loves Christ. I bet you couldn’t catch him in an alley without his sword. I bet you couldn’t catch him in the shower without it. He carries it everywhere, and so should we.

The Sword is obviously the only piece of our armour that we can use to fight and advance with. All ground is taken by the use of the Sword. But, at the same time and often overlooked, is the ability to defend ourselves and our position with God’s Word. Jesus Christ Himself stood His ground when attacked by the head honcho of hell himself. If He needed to make use of the Sword how much more we?

Take then the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Sharpen it, polish it, use it at every opportunity. I heard somewhere that Bruce Lee practiced 8 hours a day to refine and perfect his use of the martial arts. Could you say you have taken your Sword and practiced more than 8 hours last week? Last month? Last year? Get the point? Ouch, I get it.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Eph. 6:15

The feet too, though often overlooked and neglected, are a critically needful part of this warfare. We are told, no commanded (to keep in our metaphor), continually to stand. How can you stand if not upon your feet? What is it that holds us up and supports our weight if not the Gospel itself, the Good News? And this is the "gospel of peace". What kind of peace is this? It is the best kind. Peace between God and myself.

It is thing that has brought resolution and closure to the rift that lay between us, the Peace that burns up as a holy offering the contempt that has made us enemies. It is the bridge that was erected as a monument in remembrance of my laying down of arms and accepting His terms. It is once again our Lord, our Savior, the King and Commander of our Army – Jesus the Christ of God – our Peace. He is the bridge that made a way. He took away the separation, placing Himself in the gap and now mediates between God and man.

This is a peace that He offers freely to any who would come after Him and follow Him. To any who will accept His terms of surrender. When you admit that He wins, you win. Such a deal! In losing, I win it all. But unfortunately many are so headstrong they refuse to surrender one foot of territory without death, and so the battle rages on. They fight for a worthless piece of ground.

Now that we have surrendered and gained this peace, we are enlisted to fight for His cause. To advance against His enemy. We have this Rock that we now stand upon and a sure foothold of His grace by which we stand. We are now the preparation of the gospel of peace. Not only are we ready and able to stand but we are willing and wanting to stand and proclaim the victory that can be had if those who oppose Him will but surrender and lay down their arms.

This gospel of peace protects our feet from the dust and pain of the earth. Though we stand upon the earth we are not sullied by its dirt, nor are we weakened by our steps. Our feet are clean, strong and protected against the ground of this temporal land. This gospel is a shoe of sorts that keeps our feet beautiful and fit for the advancement of our cause. Yes, it is now our cause too. We are not under conscription of labor but of love. We are constrained to serve by love for our King. We see the beauty and majesty of His Kingdom and know the Righteousness of His Rule and are ready, no happy, to march in this army. The Cause of God.

Onward Christian soldier, marching as to war… Onward, then, ye people, Join our happy throng, Blend with ours your voices, In the triumph song.

Stand therefore, … and having on the breastplate of righteousness; Eph. 6:14b

The heart is such a vital organ. It is the wellspring of life for out of it flows the blood and the issues of life. Whatever is in the heart, just as the blood is circulated out to every cell of the body, so in the same way is every intent of the heart communicated to every member of the body. As the ocular organ is the eye of the physical body so the heart is the eye of the soul. It either can receive and interpret Light or, God forbid, it cannot. It is either good and singular or it is bad and complex. A singular eye has one desire, God’s will. A complex eye has many things it desires and seeks.

The heart is a sanctuary wherein God can find rest. If you have Christ in your heart then he has a resting place. Make sure your temple is clean and swept. There must not be anything that would spoil God’s visit. He is particular about the heart. It must be pure and clean, not holding to the things of this world. It must be right with Him and before Him. This is righteousness – a right standing before God.

Do not think that you can stand before God and be unrighteous? If your eye is dark then how great is that darkness. You must walk in the Light as He is in the Light. This knowledge of righteousness is the source of our right standing before Him. It too, like Truth will transform your mind so that you will not fall prey to the accusations of the Evil One.

He, the Evil One, wants to scare you. He wants you to scare you into taking cover from the thoughts he gives you concerning your unrighteousness. Once he has you on the run you are looking for shelter. And where is the place we like to hide? It is behind our own righteousness. If once he can get you to go there he has all but won this war. He needs you to run from God and to Self. He needs you to start pointing out what you have done that can be counted as righteousness. Don’t go there, it isn’t safe. You haven’t done enough and this exercise robs God of the glory for what He has done for us in Christ.

This breastplate of righteousness is not the cover of our own righteousness but His. He is the only one who’s heart is pure and perfect toward God. That is where you need to run – to Christ. Hide behind His rigthteousness. That is the safe-place. That is the place to make your stand.

God dwells in the heart of Christ. You must give over your heart to this single desire – Christ, and dwell there in His heart. He is the single eye that you must have. He is the sanctuary where you can find rest for your soul. Go to him there and meet with God. The heart is the meeting place.

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John 14:10. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. John 14:20.

When God wants to drill a man
and thrill a man and skill a man

When God wants to mold a man to play the noblest part,
When he yearns with all his heart
to create so great and bold a man that all the world might be amazed,
Watch his methods, watch his ways.

How he ruthlessly perfects whom he royaly elects.
How he hammers and hurts him and with mighty blows
converts him into trial shapes of clay that only God understands
while his tortured heart is crying and he lifts beseeching hands.

How he bends but never breaks
when his good he undertakes.
How he uses whom he chooses
and with mighty acts induces him to try his splendor out.

God knows what he’s about.

                  — Author Unknown
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